Measurement of avalanche speeds and forces: instrumentation and preliminary results of the Ryggfonn project.
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The Ryggfonn project is a Full scale experiment carried out to investigate the impact of avalanches on structures and the effects of a retaining dam in the avalanche path. The vertical drop of the avalanche path is 910 m and the volume of the avalanches is 20 - 100 000 m3. The experimental set-up consists of: a 15 m high retaining dam in the runout zone, instrumented with strain gauges on a 6.5 m steel mast and a load cell on a 1.0 m mast, plus a 4.5 m high concrete structure instrumented with three 0.72 m2 load cells, and three transmission line conductors strung across the avalanche path. The recorded analogue signals are digitized using Pulse-Code-Modulation (PCM) and recorded on a magnetic tape recorder. Up to May 1984, speed data from five avalanches have been analysed, and impact pressures have been recorded from three of them. The maximum speeds vary between 38 m/s and 60 m/s. The maximum recorded impact pressure was 541 kPa, and averaged 220 kPa over a 15 second interval. A maximum pressure of 83 kPa was measured on a load cell buried under snow at the base of the concrete structure.